Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.
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Jackie Earle Haley,
Set in 2031, the entire world is frozen except for those aboard the Snowpiercer. For 17 years, the world's survivors are on a train hurtling around the globe creating their own economy and class system. Led by Curtis, a group of lower-class citizens living in squalor at the back of the train are determined to get to the front of the train and spread the wealth around. Each section of the train holds new surprises for the group who have to battle their way through. A revolution is underway. Written by
During the scene of the shootout across the gap between Curtis and Franco the Elder, the last shots they take at each other are not only stopped by the intended target's window, they actually become stuck said windows. Curtis' firearm is a submachine gun, using pistol cartridges (probably 9mm), while Franco's is an assault rifle, most likely using NATO 5.56 (or .223 civilian version) rifle cartridges. Therefor, Curtis' shot probably wouldn't even have made it across the gap to hit Franco's window (nor during the preceding shots), while Franco's shot would have certainly penetrated Curtis' window and hit him. Pistol cartridges have a very short range and much lower power and velocity in comparison to rifle cartridges. Even further, Franco would have had to be an extremely good shot to gauge the lead needed to accurately target Curtis because of the moving target, and it's doubtful that they had regular target practice sessions on the train, let alone targeting moving objects. See more »
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We are recently getting blockbusters that tries to make allegories out of Sci-Fi high concepts about society's lack of equality between rich and poor. Not all of them worked since most of them just used the subject as a petty background and lets the technical wizardry do much of the work, which ends with a silly insincere sentiment. Snowpiercer might do the same as 2013's Elysium or Upside Down did, but this is an ambitious picture that takes the idea seriously. It doesn't let the special effects or the action take over the experience and instead gives away the pain and humanity of the world's living dystopia. Snowpiercer is often cold (no pun intended) and satirical, yet downright affecting with lots of intriguing ideas wandered around.
It may feature a train and it is mainly about a revolution attacking against law enforcers and powerful men, but the scenes when it focuses on the characters are actually the greatest strength here. While it acknowledges their suffering and longing, it takes a lot of time to express about what they've been through. And those small scenes of humanity simply makes it remarkable. The film benefits by its actors. Chris Evans is always a great leading hero, and he brings enough impact to the character Curtis. His co-stars, such as Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, John Hurt, and Kang-ho Song, also bring lively personalities on their roles. And much energetic and fun performance from Tilda Swinton as the maniacal villain.
It becomes a little bit clunky when it hits to the middle act. This is when the characters are just passing through from room to room. Once again, the titular world of a concept didn't get a deep exposition despite of its intriguing features and interesting caricatured social commentaries. At least the production made the internal Snowpiercer train look fascinating. The action scenes are fine, if not messy. There are inventive battle scenes to be found here and there. However the direction's best way to deliver tension is by taking time to breathe in its dark moments of upcoming merciless violence; easily better than the knife wielding, bullets flying battles. The special effects are cool (no pun intended) enough to keep things large and stunning.
Snowpiercer is honestly a fresh experience for a Sci-Fi blockbuster. The genre tends to just blow things up, but here it rather brings more soul than extreme panache. The film looks really good, but there are more interesting things to think about other than the technical stuff. The contents and the themes are the core here, if only they could explore more of the train, but for now the characters' feelings is the epic ride, fighting off the dark side of humanity. Despite of some missed opportunities, its rare quality is already enough to make it recommendable. Because there are bigger things in movies than just visual effects.
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